January 2

Does Anyone Do Their Diligence Anymore?  | WT #33

Diligence – steady, earnest, and energetic effort: devoted and painstaking work and application to accomplish an undertaking: ex. Alexandre Havard sparked my diligent pursuit of learning to execute mission better.  

You have to do the (uncommon) diligence to get to the true value proposition of something or someone.  

The true core value of something like a new technology, is its unique and beneficial impact on the world or its highest/best use. This innovative, breakthrough technology is called a ‘category creator’. In other words, the highest/best use of a novel technology is the creation of a distinctive product or service which contributes a good to humankind that didn’t exist before. An example of a category creator is a 3D printer.

Not every new technology rises to the level of a category creator. In contrast, I believe human beings each have unique value, which when directed to its highest/best use, contributes a transcendent, instead of a material good to the world.  

I’m not comparing a human being to a technology, but I believe a human being’s value is their unique mission or unique impact on humanity and if they execute their mission, they do great things that no one else in the world can do, but them. In other words, they were born for a specific mission and executing it builds and strengthens the common good in the world in ways that a technology cannot. Mother Theresa discovered her unique mission and strengthened the common good – to be a mother to the poorest of the poor, all the time.

This contribution is accomplished when you do your diligence, the hard, but rewarding work to figure out your embedded value or specific mission you were intended to share with the world and execute it everywhere, all the time, until your last breath.  

What’s the (uncommon) diligence process for a human being to discover his or her value and specific mission?  
The diligence process is similar to the discovery process for a unique technology and the obstacle is the same – doing the deeply personal discovery work necessary to reveal the underlying dignity, leading to the core truth of your calling or mission.  

Here's what a process looks like (click or tap to see full size):

About the author 

Darren Smith

Darren Smith is Co-Founder of the Authentic Leadership Institute. He is a native Texan and a graduate of Dallas Jesuit and Texas A&M University. Over the past 25 years, Darren has visited 35 countries and led 100 strategy programs. He and his wife have five children.


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